Updated at: 13-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Some people may look down on the arts as unprofessional and unproductive, but for others, it’s a way of life. In the second case, one of the many Los Angeles art schools would be a great place to start your professional art career.

Learn about the top art institutions in the L.A. area so you can enroll in a challenging art program and get started on a rewarding career path.

The arts are often overlooked when discussing desirable occupations. But among today’s youth, the arts have served as a binding and uniting force for the entire planet. Artists play an important role in our society. You should be proud of your career choice, so why not further your education at an art institution?

If you’re interested in art, this article will tell you which Los Angeles schools are the best options for you to consider. We’ll also discuss why we think Los Angeles, California is such a great place to pursue an arts education. In addition, you’ll learn about the career paths and financial opportunities available to you as a creative individual.

Best Art Schools In Los Angeles

Best art schools in los angeles

Art Center College of Design

Art Center College of Design

Located in Pasadena, in the county of Los Angeles, California, Art Center College of Design is a private art institution. This Los Angeles arts and design institution dates back to 1930 and currently enrolls 2,133 students pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a wide range of creative disciplines.

Art Center College of Design is a private institution that prides itself on providing an excellent education in a welcoming environment with a wide range of artistic concentrations. This Los Angeles school has a 10:1 student-to-instructor ratio in the arts and design department.

In addition, undergraduates pay $22,136 and graduate students pay $23,394 to participate in Arts Center College of Design’s 11 undergraduate, 7 graduate, and 6 interdisciplinary art programs.

You can get a top-notch education in fields like Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Fine Art, and Illustration at this Los Angeles-based institution.

California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California is home to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), a public research institution that offers a wide range of academic programs. A degree in the arts or design from this LA institution is among the best you can get in the Golden State. With 37,446 students enrolled, the school’s student-to-teacher ratio is 27 to 1.

CSU Long Beach’s College of Arts can provide you with cutting-edge and all-encompassing art education. CSU Long Beach is home to numerous art-related departments and venues, including the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, the Kleefeld Contemporary, and the Art, Dance, Design, Film, and Music departments.

The full-time tuition for undergraduates at CSULB who enroll in art programs totaling seven or more units is $2,871.00, while the cost for graduate students is $3,588.00.

Mount Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Mary’s University, also known as “The Mount,” is a Catholic university in the Los Angeles area. It’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland, which is just outside of L.A. While the Mount is a liberal arts college in the USA, it also has some of the best art programs in Los Angeles. And with 3,431 students and a teacher to student ratio of 14:1, it’s a relatively modest private institution, even by LA standards.

The Mount’s art classes are highly regarded among those in the Los Angeles area. This Los Angeles art school offers BA programs in Art, Film, Media, and Communications, and Music. At The Mount, you can pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing or a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University

Although it was founded in 1937 in Pepperdine, South Los Angeles, Pepperdine University is now located in Malibu. It is associated with The Church of Christ and currently enrolls 7,632 students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

This Los Angeles university provides access to Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, where you can choose from four BA programs and two MA programs in the arts. There are a variety of artistic and historical concentrations available to students at the undergraduate level, as well as communication and creative writing tracks. This Los Angeles institution offers MFA programs in both screenwriting and cinematic media production for its graduate art students.

The cost of attending Pepperdine University’s art school is $55,640 per year. This justifies the school’s relatively low student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1.

The Art Institute of California

Another illustrious art institution found in L.A. is CalArts, the California Institute of the Arts. Santa Clara University of the Arts is a private university in Los Angeles that specializes in the visual arts, much like Arts Center College. It has a similar student-to-professor ratio to Arts Center College (which has 1,448 students): 8 students for every 1 professor.

Since Walt Disney himself established the school, you can rest assured that your art education will be of the highest caliber, and you’ll also have a greater chance to make valuable connections. The six schools at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—offer a wide variety of art-related undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In 2022, the annual tuition at CalArts for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree will be $52,850.

Chapman College

This Orange, California, private school is consistently ranked among the best art schools in Los Angeles. The Christian Disciples of Christ are associated with the church’s founding in 1861. In addition, there are only 8,305 students enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate programs at The Best Art Schools in Los Angeles, making it a relatively small institution with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.

Degrees in the Arts are available at Chapman through the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the College of Performing Arts, and the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Degree programs in Art, Graphic Design, Art History, and other creative fields are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Wilkinson.

You should enroll at Chapman University if you want to study dance, music, or theater.

Otis College of Art and Design

Otis College of Art and Design

Otis College of the Arts offers a wide variety of majors and minors in the visual and applied arts, catering to students who are interested in the fine arts as well as those who are looking for the specialized resources offered by degree programs like toy design and environmental design.

Students can work on their projects in a variety of media, from book arts to goldsmithing, thanks to the school’s extensive labs, workshops, and facilities. Students’ works are regularly displayed in local and campus galleries, and a benefit fashion show is held annually for the benefit of those studying fashion.

The program assists students in finding suitable off-campus housing in addition to the limited on-campus housing available at this urban campus in the heart of Los Angeles, which is reserved primarily for first-year students.

Otis boasts one of the most ethnically and racially diverse student bodies in the country and is committed to helping first-generation students succeed. In addition to creating a welcoming environment on campus, the Black Creatives program also helps students network with professionals in the field. The university provides admissions counseling and support to international and DACA students.

Research conducted on recent graduates reveals that 94% of those with degrees in the arts and design are immediately gainfully employed. Artistic alums work in fields as diverse as design, entertainment, teaching, and management.

Otis made headlines when it made the top ten list of U.S. institutions when The Economist proposed new methods of assessing the value of college education. Including graduates’ actual median wages in the evaluation, Otis College of Art outperformed many more prestigious institutions, prompting a national discussion about the value of higher education.

Santa Monica College

In Los Angeles, Santa Monica College is the best choice for those who want to earn an Associate’s Degree in the Arts rather than a Bachelor’s or Master’s. There are 30,615 students at Santa Monica College (SMC), making for a student to faculty ratio of 45:1.

Despite this, two-year art programs at the Best Art Schools in Los Angeles are among the best in the state of California. Popular programs at Santa Monica include the Associate in Arts in Art, the Associate in Arts in Art for Transfer in Studio Art, and the Associate in Art in Art History.

Associate degree courses at Santa Monica College cost $46 per hour. Since the Associate of Arts in Art at this Los Angeles Community College consists of 24 units, the cost to enroll in this program is $1,104 per semester.

UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (Los Angeles, CA)

Arts students at UCLA have easy access to Los Angeles’ thriving Westwood neighborhood, thanks to the school’s proximity to the city’s many cultural institutions.

UCLA’s top-ranked studio art program provides students with a solid foundation in both practical and theoretical aspects of the field. Modern methods of creating games, printing, photography, 3D modeling, and VR media are taught in the design media arts program.

The environmental and communal concerns of the program’s students are reflected in the curriculum for architecture and urban design.

Students at UCLA who are majoring in the arts and are interested in teaching have the opportunity to do so through the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program, which provides services to K-12 students in underserved communities.

Students applying direct-entry must go through the regular admissions process and then finish an arts supplement.

University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA)

University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA)

The University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design provides Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in both art and design. The program also allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art by taking advantage of USC’s extensive offerings in disciplines outside of art.

The capstone course and thesis project at the end of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art program require students to integrate their studio work with their theoretical studies. The BFA in Design curriculum includes studio art classes, seminars on critical theory, and required internships in addition to technical training for 2D and 3D media.

The Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California requires applicants to submit their materials through the USC admissions office, including the required writing supplement.

Finally, portfolios and other required program materials must be uploaded through Roski’s website.

Courses taken at our partner universities in Australia, Florence, Cape Town, and London can count toward a student’s degree. NBC, National Geographic, Lego, and the Museum of Modern Art are just a few of the public and private organizations that offer internships to students.

The Roski is another fantastic Los Angeles arts program, and one of the oldest on this list, having first opened its doors in the late 19th century. Students at Roski, a school consistently ranked among the best in the country, also have the benefit of being a part of the University of Southern California community, which is consistently ranked among the best in the country for student life.


Does California have good art schools?

Among art schools, California College of the Arts offers the best value. The school is able to keep its graduation rate of 67% within a six year range thanks to its small classes and overall 8:1 student/faculty ratio.

What is the hardest art school to get into?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the most selective institution of its kind in the world, boasting the lowest acceptance rate of any art and design school in the world. In spite of its reputation as the most competitive art school in the world, MIT places a strong emphasis on the arts in both its required coursework and its vibrant research community.


Los Angeles, California is probably the best city in the United States to pursue an education in the arts. This glittering metropolis is home to Hollywood, the beating heart of the American film industry, and to some of the country’s most accomplished creatives. Therefore, there are art and design schools in Los Angeles that will meet your needs regardless of your desired area of artistic concentration or degree level.

The Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, and Otis College of Art and Design are three of the best art and design schools in Los Angeles where one can earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you’re looking for a good place to earn your associate’s degree in the arts, Santa Monica College should be on your list.